Powerlink Implementation for Devices

April 20, 2011
With the POWERLINK slave for FPGAs, B&R now offers an ideal solution for automation component manufacturers, adding a real-time Ethernet connection to B&R's already extensive range of products.

This uniform solution focuses on all cost-sensitive products such as extremely compact sensors with very few electronic parts, powerful drives or modular I/O bus connection modules.

The new Ethernet connection consists of a reference design that speeds up fast time-to-market and makes all of the features of the POWERLINK technology easy to use. The user does not need detailed knowledge of POWERLINK itself. A simple API, which can be used with a serial port (SPI) or an 8/16-bit µC interface, is included in the delivery and allows any host processor, such as ARM, x86 or DSPs, to be connected to a POWERLINK network. Sensors with simple data links can be connected directly to the POWERLINK FPGA and do not require an external micro-controller. The FPGA solution can handle additional tasks in the application and therefore further reduce total costs.

The offer is supplemented with accompanying training measures, commissioning support, a business-level maintenance package and a B&R test system for getting the new POWERLINK product up and running quickly.

"Investment security is a common concern for our customers, so we clearly differentiate ourselves from our competitor's ASIC-based solutions by providing an open FPGA platform and manufacturer-independence. The explicit policy is that runtime licenses are not required. This is a decisive factor for many sensor manufacturers when selecting an Industrial Ethernet solution," says Stefan Schönegger, Manager of the Open Automation Business Unit at B&R.

B&R Industrial Automation Corp. - www.br-automation.com

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